The sisters at Reavis learn about immune systems with Dr. Molinero

By Bori

Dr. Molinero explaining antibodies.

Dr. Molinero explaining antibodies.

Exploring Our Immune System

We had an awesome scientist from Argentia, Dr. Luciana Molinero.  She is a research assistant professor at the University of Chicago and works in biomedical sciences.  The topic of her research is how the immune system of a patient reacts when they receive a transplanted organ.

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Viruses!

Dr. Molinero had the girls explore the functions of their immune system through an activity that involved balloons.  The girls were SO in love with the balloons and they worked really well to grab the student’s attention.   We all enjoyed being a scavenger, molecule, and a virus.   As you see in the photos, the girls with the yellow balloons are the viruses (before the flu shot)–only the virus are allowed to have yellow balloons, the girls with the strings are antibodies and the rest are the scavengers.  When yellow balloons/viruses are present, the antibodies touch them, then the scavengers are trying to pull antibodies out to destroy the virus, but since it is before the flu shot, “antibodies” are losing their strength as they are pulled out.

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Antibodies!

In another scene, after the flu shot, the viruses are still presented with light blue or purple balloons.  Though antibodies touch the viruses, we have all had a flu shot so “antibodies” are safe.  Later on, Dr. Molinero concluded how antibodies are protecting us from the bad ones like the viruses based on the activity.  The activity made it much easier for the girls to understand antibodies.

Moon Craters

By Bori

Sisters at PCS Joslin experimented with creating craters on the Moon!  The girls searched vocabulary words and then moved into creating craters using simple household materials.  Bori, the instructor, replicated the surface of the moon with flour and cocoa powder.  Students had a blast dropping rocks into the trays and watched as craters formed in their replica of the moon.   They compiled and compared data from their experiments and participated in a whole group discussion.  The girls had fun participating in this unique, creative experiment.

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Welcome Future Energy Chicago

MSIevent

Natasha and Syda, the ladies behind the scenes at Project Exploration, went to the Museum of Science and Industry on Friday with BP America to celebrate the opening of MSI’s newest permanent exhibit: Future Energy Chicago. Future Energy Chicago features interactive simulations that engage visitors to learn about today’s energy landscape and envision Chicago’s energy future.

Marshmallow Challenge

Joselyn

It was an amazing day at PCS-Joslin.  We welcomed Alyse Kondrat, the director of Science Product Development at Pearson, to our classroom!   Ms. Alyse challenged the girls to build a structure from spaghetti and one marshmallow!   The girls really enjoyed building the structures.  Ms. Alyse informed us that the average height of a structure built out of spaghetti nation wide (including CEO’s, engineers, college students, and kindergartners) is 20″.  Most of our girls did above the average–the highest one was 35.5″!